Freethinkers: Islam and The Regressive Left…



From Wikipedia

The regressive left is a political term that finds fault with a section of left-wing politics that tolerates illiberal principles and ideology.

It was introduced in 2012 by British liberal activist Maajid Nawaz to describe a section of the left that has “an inherent hesitation to challenge some of the bigotry that can occur within minority communities […] for the sake of political correctness, for the sake of tolerating what they believe is other cultures and respecting different lifestyles.”

The concept and its potential implications have been analyzed by Sam HarrisBill MaherRichard DawkinsDave Rubin and Peter Boghossian, who have spoken about the potential effects on free speech.


Maajid Nawaz‘s use of “regressive left” has been a part of his advocacy against Islamism, the literalism pole of Islam that places more emphasis on Sharia (Islamic law), pan-Islamic political unity, and an Islamic state.

Nawaz, who in 2007 thoroughly renounced his previous association with the radical Islamismgroup Hizb ut-Tahrir, in favor of Secular Islam, is the co-founder and chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank based in London that seeks to challenge the narratives of Islamism extremists.

Nawaz has used “regressive left” to denote the concept of left-leaning people who, in his opinion, defend Islamism, which he defines as “an ideology that seeks to impose any version of Islam over society” and which he opposes on the ground that “any desire to impose any version of Islam over anyone anywhere, ever, is a fundamental violation of our basic civil liberties.” According to Nawaz, such sympathizers of Islamism include “atheists who are on the side of the Islamists, defending Islamism in the name of cultural tolerance.”

According to Nawaz, the notion that Muslims cannot cope with criticism or mockery of Islam and only react violently, is “patronizing, self-pity inspiring mollycoddling” of the very Muslims it claims to serve and emancipate, because it does not expect them to be civil and control their anger. This “racism of low expectations” lowers the moral standards of people within minorities, seeking excuses if they happen to express, for example, misogynychauvinismbigotry, or antisemitism, whilst holding members of the majority to universal liberal standards.

Haras Rafiq, managing director of Quilliam, expressed the view that there is a tendency of some on the left to excuse Islamism. “We have not got to grips with the symbiotic relationship between Islamism and far-right hatred, and the regressive left that is prepared to excuse Islamism.”…

See complete entry here